A father of one who waved a knife at gardaí, threatened to kill them and kicked the wing mirror off a patrol car is to be sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Mark McNulty (aged 20), of Ballyogan Avenue, Carrickmines, pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda David Kelleher and Garda Kenneth McDonald at Ballyogan Avenue on May 24, 2009.
He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage, producing a knife in the course of a dispute and obstructing arrest on the same occasion. He has five previous convictions.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said that at first hearing there was no doubt McNulty’s behaviour merited a custodial sentence but said he was extremely fortunate that Gda Kelleher had accepted his apology and felt there was an improvement in his behaviour.
She said: “This court is appalled, you behaved like a feral youth.” She adjourned the case until January to allow a probation report be prepared.
Mark McNulty told Judge Delahunt that he was currently unemployed but hoped to take up work in the coming weeks. He said: “I want to apologise to all the gardaí involved. I am disgusted with myself.”
Ms Susan McNulty told Judge Delahunt that her son was an “unbelievable” father to his son and that he was contributing money towards his support on a weekly basis. She said he was no longer drinking alcohol.
Gda Kelleher told Ms Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to an incident in Cabinteely where a large group of youths were fighting.
Gardaí attempted to break up the row and as Gda Kelleher was arresting a youth McNulty ran towards him shouting: “You are not arresting my friend.” He then said: “You are David Kelleher, you put me off the road for two years.”
He attempted to throw a punch at Gda Kelleher who drew his baton for his own protection as he was now surrounded by between five and seven youths. The youths, including McNulty, shouted threats to kill him.
Gda Kelleher withdrew to the patrol car and saw McNulty ran past him and repeatedly kick the car door before kicking off the wing mirror. He gave chase to McNulty who ran into his home and emerged with what gardaí described as a large knife with a long serrated edge. McNulty claims it was a butter knife
McNulty ran towards gardaí shouting: “How tough are you now? I will f****** cut you up.” He raised the knife above his head and ran towards a female garda, who had become separated from her colleagues, saying: “I will kill you, you b****”
Gda Kelleher and Gda McDonald ran to her assistance. Gda McDonald was kicked in the chin.
McNulty climbed up on a wall continuing to wave and gesture with the knife before retreating into the house.
Gardaí left the area but soon received another call and encountered McNulty again. They gave chase and Gda Kelleher caught him at the top of Ballyogan Avenue. He resisted arrest and told Gda Kelleher: “I will get you” before attempting to spit at him.
Gda Kelleher agreed with Mr Justin McQuade BL, defending, that McNulty was “like a wild animal, totally out of control.” He agreed that McNulty had since apologised to him and he accepted that apology.
He agreed that McNulty came from a decent, respectable background and that his family were shocked and horrified. He agreed there had been a “sea change” in McNulty’s attitude in recent times.
Mr McQuade said character references for McNulty described him as a “ordinary, decent, courteous man” and he submitted that this incident was entirely out of character. He said McNulty was not trying to hide behind his son and he was aware that “Mountjoy is full of fathers.”
He submitted that it was “not in the public interest” to put a young man such as McNulty in prison.